“I want a future for my kids,” was one of the many messages on display Friday (March 19) at the Front Street round-about in Penticton during a Global Climate Action Day rally.
A group of about 20 concerned climate activists gathered at the round-about Friday to voice their concerns around climate change. Among attendees were Grade 10 Penticton High School students Jamie Nelson and Meredith Allen. The pair was joined by the local climate action group First Things First Okanagan.
Nelson and Allen said that their generation has the most at stake during the current climate crisis.
“We (young people) will be voting soon and we want to vote for a future that is good for us,” said Nelson.
The pair of students created a display by adorning the sculpture at the Front Street round-about with many messages about climate change.
Climate marches and rallies have been curtailed during the pandemic so First Things First Okanagan, together with the students, developed the idea of creating a banner of climate messages.
Nelson collected the climate messages from fellow Pen High students and wrote them onto fabric scraps that were used to create the banner.
“I want to have clean air and water,” was one of the many messages as was “No nature, no future.”
Karl Mattson, the artist who created the sculpture, said he was excited to see his work used as a medium for students expressing their feelings about the environment.
Nelson and Allen said climate change is at the forefront of their generation’s minds as they look towards the future.
“I’ve had growing concerns for the environment forever, it’s my number one concern,” said Nelson.
“I am proud of what we have done in this project because it has amplified the voices of young people and shown that we do care. Being young does not preclude us from being informed and active in change.”
Students around the world have led the movement to hold rallies on Fridays to protest climate inaction. On Oct. 27, 2019 an estimated six million people rallied for the Global Day of Action, including about 400 people who gathered in front of Penticton City Hall.
More information about First Things First Okanagan and climate action can be found on their Facebook page.